my friend linh is moving to china for a year, so we had a bon voyage meal at farina. it's fairly new, in a very striking building on 18th st in the mission. after a little mix-up with their liquor license, they were open at full steam. and so we went...
*sigh*...there really is so much to like. the staff are very friendly. when i called for a reservation, i was *called back* within a few minutes after leaving a message. and got a table for 2 for a friday at 7:30 on just 6 days notice. excellent.
on arriving, the hostess greeted us warmly and took us right to the table. our server, kate, was attentive and all smiles the whole time. the decor is very cool...neo-modern with some classic italian cucina touches. sitting in the dining room you get sweeping views of 18th st from the wall-sized widows. though it needs some sound baffling...it was way too loud...all that wood and brick...there's not much to absorb all the talking.
for better or worse though, what matters as much as anything in a restaurant is the food, and farina has a way to go, especially given the prices. i've got no problem spending $60/per person on this kind of meal (more bistro vs high end) , but it's gotta be much better than what we got.
overall things were too oily. as a general suggestion i'd say to the chef "ok, the amount of oil you want to drizzle over the salmon atop golden tomato? or on the anchovy? cut it by at least half. the amount of oil you put on the pizzeta? cut by half." and so on. i had a homemade ravioli stuffed with eggplant that was tasty enough, but again *swimming* in oil. it also took a while for the first course to come out, and by a while i mean longer than it should.
so i really hope they get the food tightened up because otherwise there's a lot to like about the place. the kind of place you'd like to see succeed, if only to make it easier to get a table at delfina.